Catholic priest rattled by gun incident

“I said: ‘Oh, my Lord! What on earth is going on here?”

The words of senior Roman Catholic cleric, Monsignor Vincent Blackett, as he recalled his immediate reaction on seeing panicked mourners rushing away from a burial service he was conducting earlier this week, after a gun was discovered on the ground near the grave.

Senior Roman Catholic cleric, Monsignor Vincent Blackett
Senior Roman Catholic cleric, Monsignor Vincent Blackett

“I was still at the graveside when I saw the scampering,” Monsignor Vincent told Barbados TODAY in an interview today. “Someone said there was a gun on the ground and I saw people chasing a couple of young men. This incident occurred when I was conducting the prayers. I felt badly for the family because they were burying one of their members.”

Police have launched an investigation into the incident after a video showing the gun on the ground and mourners rushing from the graveside, went into in circulation via social media. The funeral service was for City teenager Adrianna Sobers who was killed in a motor vehicle accident earlier this month.

Noting that from reports the gun apparently dropped while a young woman was assisting in burying the deceased, Monsignor Vincent lamented that women, who were generally seen as culture bearers, were now seen as leaders of a counter culture.

“Today’s women seem to have a special liking for rude boys. A youngster goes up to prison and young women seem quite happy to visit him as if he is at a hotel. We have to change that counter culture,” the senior Catholic cleric said.

Recalling that he was the officiating priest at another funeral where he had to flee from the graveside after a disturbance broke out, Monsignor Vincent lamented that increasingly today churches were seeing many young people who have “absolutely no respect or show any reverence for the dead”.

He noted they came into the cemetery while the committal of the body was taking place and even though the priest asked them to desist from speaking, they continued.

Monsignor Vincent, who is Vicar-General of the Bridgetown Diocese, said such rowdy behaviour is pushing St Patrick’s Cathedral, where he is administrator, towards rethinking a longstanding policy on facilitating funerals for non-Catholics, especially if the services were likely to attract persons associated with such behaviour.

Monsignor Vincent said in such cases the church also may have consider returning to its former practice of seeking the assistance of the Royal Barbados Police Force to maintain order.

Noting that some denominations on the island did not facilitate funerals for non-members, Monsignor Vincent explained why the Catholic Church was accommodating. “I think it is a holy and wholesome practice to offer prayers for the deceased,” he said.

He added: “So when a family comes to me and tells me that one of their members has passed away and they would like a service, I try not to refuse them. I usually accede to the request even though the deceased may not have been a practising Catholic or even a Christian.”

6 Responses to Catholic priest rattled by gun incident

  1. MariaMaria Angel
    MariaMaria Angel April 24, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Well to quote Randy Bachman, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”

  2. Ryan Williams
    Ryan Williams April 24, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Church ain gine refuse money, is what you mean by accommodating non-Catholics…..just have the police present at such funerals.

  3. Maria Leclair
    Maria Leclair April 24, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Pretty bad when there is a need to hire cops to keep peace at a funerals.

  4. Walter Prescod
    Walter Prescod April 24, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Another shame on The mother country.

  5. Maxine Hutchinson April 24, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    It is sad that many of our young people display such unruly behaviour. There are many of us who know quite well the reason behind that type of behaviour. Check out the music to which they listen. The lyrics and certain body movements of the singers influence their subconscious minds and what do they find themselves doing? They suddenly feel the need to try a little weed and or alcohol. (This happens generally to those who have never had the craving to engage in such an activity). They then begin to mark their skins with tatoos, they purchase new clothes and wear them without washing them, they borrow each other’s clothes.

    The young women, especially those who are virgins, take money from men – especially older men, without knowing the danger in which they have placed themselves. Many times they laugh at a man because he may not ask for a sexual favour from them. They have no idea that the money they took was tainted and that the effects on them would be: having regular bouts of sexual activity while they are sleeping only to wake and find that no human had sex with them; then to come to the realization later in life that they cannot bear children or keep a meaningful relationship with a male that would lead to marriage (spiritual husband was assigned to them early in their life – spiritual sexual encounters while sleeping).

    Some of them also feel a strong urge to enter prostitution – open or private and satisfy themselves with the belief that they “have to get money to buy things because I doan work”.

    All these things become manifested in their lives all because of their listening continually to the music put out by certain singers, who themselves have signed with blood on the dotted line and are now looking unhappy because they may have discovered the effects of their signature on the dotted line.

    These are the reasons behind the unruly behaviour we see being displayed by many of our young people. The bad behaviour in them means worldly riches and pleasures for others! Those who have eyes to read and ears to hear let them see and hear.

  6. Lorna Deukett April 24, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Really Ryan Williams you need to get your facts straight. Priests are not paid to conduct prayers at a funeral. My father was buried at Christ Church parish church and not one red cent was charged. Yes a Catholic Priest officiated. Stupse


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